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The Editor's Mess

Given the current state of global political turmoil, you may think that what the world really needs is a hero to save us from our plight.  Well, as one plucky would-be hero named James Van Iveren can attest – behind bars – it turns out that the world is doing peachy on its own.  In fact, it’s watching porn in what would normally be a sanctuary, it’s own home.  That is until Van Iveren bursts in with a sword to “rescue” a screaming woman – from the porn video – that he believed was being raped in the apartment above his and his mother’s.  Feel free to zoom off to put in Pulp Fiction and listen to Chad Kroeger’s Hero (from the Spiderman theme) any time here.  It’s okay, I’ll wait.

In all honesty I just wanted to figure out how many pounds my new poker chips were going to weigh.  I had just found a deal on 500 new casino poker chips, they were each 11.5g, and FedEx was charging me the cost of a small baby-boy to ship them to me.  My scotch soaked cranium just couldn’t pull the conversion calculator out of long term neural storage.  Very likely it got lonely years ago and committed suicide, possibly in a pact with the names of ancient Egyptian pharaohs and dead presidents.  Pretty sure they all had “tep” or “imho” or “Roosevelt” in there somewhere.

Since I couldn’t remember how to convert kilograms to pounds, I did what every other white, middle-class guy does with more bandwidth than ambition: I Googled it.  I surfed over to Google and typed in: “kg to lbs.”  To my relief, the fine folks at Google – in an act of prescience that I’ve come to love and count on – popped the answer right at the top, so even a blockhead like me couldn’t help but find it through a haze of quality Scottish alcohol.

I’ll bet you never realized it, but pretty much everything that’s wrong with America’s society, culture and economic system is all your fault.  It’s true.  Wars, famine, blight, obesity, poverty, greed, crime, failing schools, infotainment, cable news shows, and the failure of the mainstream media (just to name a few); these are all your fault.  The reason it’s your fault is because of personal responsibility; we’re all responsible for our actions, so the blame ultimately boils down to We The People and our terrible choices.  Yup.

Flying is a wholly unnatural act for an ape descendent species.  We were not meant to fly.  Birds - a dinosaur remnant, if "scientists" can still be trusted - they have an excuse for flying; for them, it's a natural act.  For us it requires hours of preparation, including squeezing our liquids into clear plastic bags, before we are allowed the privilege of putting our lives into the hands of potentially quite drunken pilots who have a beef with their local union representation.  Yes, drunk and disgruntled.

heckling hawking by Scott MeadowRecently, Professor Stephen Hawking (yes, the real one) posting on “Yahoo! Answers” asked the world, or at least us internet rabble: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”1 In case you’re not familiar with the service, “Yahoo! Answers” allows anyone to post a question on anything and then have a bunch of yahoos “answer” it. In other words, imagine what would happen if you dumped a herd of lobotomized philosophers out on a deserted island for six or seven decades with nothing but high-speed internet connections, broken keyboards, and enough reefer to get several Bob Marley concerts higher than ozone.

I personally found it inspiring that Professor Hawking used the site to post such a heavy question. However, as if often the case with internet message boards, when I read the responses it totally harshed my buzz.

Before I give Stephen my own answer, it’s interesting to look at what others wrote. There’s over 15,000 "answers" so far, and I’m a writer with an article to write, so I didn’t read each and every one but I did poke around to find some that seemed representative of the lot as far as I could tell by aimlessly surfing around with four or six scotchs under my belt. Call it a scottish polling sample. Here they are: